Wildlife Sanctuaries from Chamba
The district of Chamba is said to be a treasure trove of art and culture. However, few are aware that the district is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. In all, it has five fantabulous wildlife sanctuaries, located within its periphery. Some of them are small and does not take long to explore while some re truly big. Nonetheless, all of them offer an awesome scenic beauty and an amazing experience. Let us start our tour with a visit to the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, the biggest of then.
Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary from ChambaKugti Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 87 km from Chamba town between an altitude of 2195 meter and 5040 meter. It is the second largest wildlife habitat in the state and is spread over an area of 378.87 sq km.
The sanctuary has many perennial streams flowing throw it. Most of them have originated from melting glaciers. The vegetation mostly consists of different types of high altitude Himalayan plants belonging to Moist Deodar Forest and Western Mixed Coniferous Forest categories. In addition, many medicinal herbs are also found in this sanctuary. Aconitum Heterophyllum (Potish), Pedophyllum Hexandrum (Bankakudi), Angelica Glauca (Chaora) etc are few of them.
The forest is also home to a number of endangered animal species. Himalayan Tahr, a goat like herbivorous animal, is one of them. In fact, this sanctuary is said to be one of the last habitats of this animal. Snow leopards have also been sighted here. Animals that can be easily spotted in this sanctuary are ibex, mask marten, deer, leopard, ghoral, Indian serow, Himalyan yellow throated fox etc. Monal, jungle babbler, red-billed babbler, snow cock, great hill barbet, different species of bulbuls and buntings are few of the more common birds that are to be spotted here.
May-June and September-October are the best time to visit this sanctuary. To reach Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary from Chamba you must first reach Bhramour and from there to Hadsar and finally to Kugti Village inside the sanctuary. We may also add that the famous Manimahesh Temple is located inside this sanctuary.
Tundah Wildlife Sanctuary from ChambaTundah Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 59 km from Chamba Town near the confluence of River Ravi and Tundah Nalah. It is spread between an altitude of 2074 meters and 5532 and encloses Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary from the east. These two sanctuaries are joined by a forest corridor and hence for an armature they seem to be a single sanctuary.
Tundah Sanctuary is as much famous for its awesome beauty as for its varied fauna and flora. The trees here mostly belong to Alpine Forests, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, Moist Deodar Forests and Moist Temperate Deciduous Forests. Walnut, Poplar, Fir, Deodar, Spruce, Robinia are some of the trees that are found to be flourishing in this park.
The Tundah Wildlife sanctuary also houses a wide variety of fauna. Among them, animals like Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Shrew, Himalayan fox, ibex, leopard, flying squirrel, barking deer, musk deer etc are commonly seen in this park. Besides, here you can also see a wide variety of birds like pheasants, babblers, bulbuls, barbets, buntings, green bee eater, Indian blue robin etc.
Sechu Tuan Nalah Wildlife Sanctuary from Chamba
Sechu Tuan Nala Wildlife Sanctuary can be approached from Chamba via Sach Pass, which remains operational only from the month of June till the end of October. From here you need to go to Sathraundi and then to Kilar and finally to Sechu Tuan Sanctuary. The last leg of the journey is not accessible by vehicles and so you will have to walk. Tree houses built inside the sanctuary provide accommodation to the tourist.
Kalatop Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary from Chamba
Although most people visit this sanctuary on a sightseeing tour to Kajjiar, the place demands much more. Government accommodations are available inside the sanctuary and therefore, one should contemplate spending at least one or two nights here. There are many trekking trails within the sanctuary, which you can explore. However, it is always wise to hire guides. The sanctuary also offers a breathtaking view of Pir Panjal range.
Common animals found in the Kalatop Sanctuary are bear, deer, marten, serow, barking gorel, jackal, langur etc. Birds to be found here are White Winged Black Bird, Eurasian Jay, Black Headed Jay, Chestnut Billed Rock Thrush, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher etc.
Gamgul Wildlife Sanctuary from Chamba
Gamgul Sanctuary is spread over 108.85 sq km. It shares it boundary with Jammu and Kashmir in the north and consequently it is the only sanctuary in whole of Himachal Pradesh where Kashmir Stag can be spotted. Besides, it also houses a small population of musk deer and Himalayan tahr. Lots of colorful birds are also to be seen here. Pheasants are quiet commonly spotted. The vegetation in this sanctuary mainly consists of deodar and coniferous forest. Alpine pastures are also found in some areas.